Recruiting Diaries – Back In The Game
“Get back into recruiting,” they said.
“It’ll be fun,” they said.
I recently decided to get back into travel nurse recruiting after nearly a three-year break. I was a recruiter for several years prior and decided to leave a great job to do some traveling of my own. I was able to visit several countries, teach English, and do some volunteering. It was incredible; an experience I am forever grateful for with memories that will last a lifetime. But after two and a half years abroad, I was ready to come home and be close to my family again.
I quickly found a great gig that allowed me to work remotely, which was still within the travel healthcare industry but not recruiting. I thoroughly enjoyed the role and the perspective that it provided, but something was missing. I missed the relationships and lifelong friendships I was able to cultivate during my earlier recruiting years. It pulled at me, slowly at first, but that soft murmur quickly turned into a clear voice with clarity for my next career move. I wanted to get back into recruiting. But could I do it again? Could I be as successful as I once was?
How Times Have Changed.
During my previous recruiting career, I grew my book of business primarily through calls and emails – a lot more time was spent on the phone back then. Facebook was only starting to become popular as a recruiting tool when I left. Texting was becoming more common, but rarely did anyone have texting platforms that they could use to quickly and easily distribute information. I guess you could say I cut my teeth in the “Old School” ways of recruiting.
When I decided to get back into recruiting, I already knew that much had changed. I’d still kept my thumb on the pulse of the industry and already knew that many of the previous methods I’d grown up on as a young recruiting Jedi were quickly fading into “Back in the day when I was a young recruiter…” fables and lore.
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While the methods to reach travel nurses may have changed (considerably), the power of building relationships is as true today as it has even been. I had missed that immensely. It’s something quite remarkable when you click with someone after a single phone conversation. And this then sparks more conversations, and you know within your soul that this particular individual is not only a great clinician but someone you’d probably hang out with and share adult beverages and stories with if you lived in the same town. After traveling solo for a few years without having the luxury of family or friends nearby, it was those connections that I missed dearly. Funny how traveling puts those things into perspective, eh?
So, here we are, sometime in the middle of February, and I finally made the decision and chose to work with Axis Medical Staffing and begin my new recruiting chapter. All was right with the world. The skies were blue, the birds were chirping, the Chiefs had just won the Super Bowl, and hints of spring were beginning to arrive. Ahhhh.
Enter, stage right: COVID-19 pandemic.
Let’s just say I picked a heck of a time to get back into recruiting.
It’s one thing to become a new employee at a new company and go through the learning curves that naturally come along with that.
It’s another thing to realize just how much recruiting has changed from my early days of recruiting, time is absolutely of the essence, and there are dozens of platforms and sites where you can connect with travelers. MSP and VMS are mainstays, texting is way more common than calling, and there is a Facebook group for darn near every niche of travelers you can think of. Do you travel in an RV and listen to heavy metal and have an affinity for craft beer? There is probably a Facebook group for you.
It’s QUITE another thing to throw a pandemic into the mix. Not only am I learning to function at a new agency, with new tools and resources at my disposal, but I am also dealing with a dynamic travel nurse industry that is continually shifting and adjusting to new challenges as a result of this virus. Fluctuating pay rates, states softening their license requirements, new Federal and State laws being proposed and enacted, and jobs opening and closing faster than you can say, “Submit my profile.”
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There is so much to stay current with, and believe me, recruiters like myself are struggling with our guilty perfectionist complexes when we can’t respond to your calls, texts, and emails as quickly as we were once able to. Or when we send your magnificent profiles to facilities with “crisis” needs, and we have no idea how quickly we’ll hear back – or if we will hear anything at all.
Don’t get me wrong – this is not a plea for sympathy. Ultimately, this will allow me to learn at a much quicker pace and be a small part of a more significant cause in fighting the battle against COVID-19.
What I’m struggling with the most is what everyone is struggling with right now – the uncertainty. The terrifying unknown of how all of this is going to end up. The helplessness I feel when I hear about healthcare professionals who are sick – even dying – as a result of this virus because they made the choice to move forward and help people despite the risks. The reports of severe shortages of equipment and necessary protective measures for the clinicians on the front lines. The massive amounts of information being thrown at us, much of it conflicting. The concerns I’m hearing from travelers who not only are worrying about their patients, but also about their families and loved ones back home.
It’s a lot to take on, and my heart goes out to all the healthcare professionals out there right now who are facing this daunting unknown driven by their purpose and passion, which is to protect and save lives. You’ll never be thanked enough for what you’re doing. I’m so grateful to those who have reached out and asked to be placed in areas where their help is needed most.
It’s easy to succumb to the negativity or fear in situations like this, but your bravery gives me hope and faith that we’ll all come out of this okay in the end. It’s helped remind me why I loved recruiting in the first place – I get to work with absolute Rock Stars who are out there making a difference every day, and I get to play a small part in connecting them with opportunities where they can have the most impact. In this work, I have the privilege of listening to your stories, sharing in some of your feelings, hearing and working through your challenges with you, and celebrating with you when your patients recover or when family members praise your hard work.
So yeah, I picked a great time to come back to recruiting. I didn’t realize it at first, but now I understand that I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be. The timing is perfect. I’m grateful for the opportunity to be here, supporting and assisting in any way I can, the heroes who are going to be the most responsible for pulling us all through these challenging times.
Welcome, Charity! We are absolutely thrilled to have you join the Axis Family.
Want to join Charity’s team of Rock Star nurses? Of course you do! Fill out the information below, drop her name, and she’ll reach out!